The ‘Multi – Kulti Kicker’ Of Germany
During the greatest show on earth, otherwise known as the 2010 FIFA World Cup, we all come to know the name of “Mesut Ozil”, a German midfielder. Now, after four years of amazing perform at Emirates and other corners of Europe, we all know how amazingly talented this left-footed 29-year-old man has become.
But how many of us really know what Mesut Ozil is like in his personal life? I can’t help but wonder when I hear people claiming to be fans, and know nothing. Here is his synopsis at his 29th Birthday.
Mesut Ozil is a third-generation Turkish-German. Ozil’s grandfather worked at a metals mine after immigrating to Germany 40 years ago. His father is self-employed, and his mother is a housewife. He was born on October 15, 1988 in Gelsenkirchen, West Germany. and later on moved to Rot-Weiss-Essen, an Essen-based DFB football club that he represented for 5 years.
Ozil made it to the Schalke 04’s youth academy in the year 2005. He represented FC Schalke 04 wearing jersey number 17 and played as an attacking midfielder. He turned down a lucrative offer made by Schalke 04 claiming that it was peanuts and eventually shifted to Werder Bremen in 2008.
Werder Bremen, a German Football Association club based in the Northwest German state of Bremen, agreed to pay Mesut the steep fees demanded by him. He signed a contract with the club to play for 3 years. He donned jersey no. 11 while representing Werder Bremen.
On 26 April 2008 Ozil scored his first goal in a Bundesliga match against Karlsruher SC that enabled Werder Bremen to win the contest 2-1. Next year, he scored the only goal against Bayer Leverkusen, helping his team qualify for the 2009 DFB-Pokal.
Mesut loomed large on Werder Bremen in the 2009-2010 Bundesliga Season as an influential playmaker setting up numerous goals for his team. He scored his 100th goal in Bundesliga while playing against Schalke 04, the club from where he started his professional football career.
Werder Bremen was successful in reaching the DFB-Pokal finals in 2010 largely due to Ozil’s contributions. However, Bayern Munich proved too good for Werder Bremen as the latter lost the match by a margin of 4 goals to nil.
Ozil was selected to represent the German national squad in the 2010 FIFA World Cup where his performance stood out. His scintillating showing attracted the attention of the managers and coaches of Europe’s most sought after football clubs including Manchester United, Real Madrid, Arsenal, and Barcelona. The performance transformed Özil from a promising talent to a bona fide star. He was hailed as the “multi-kulti kicker” in Germany, celebrated for being the first national team player from an immigrant background to enjoy such international success.
On August 22 2010, Mesut Ozil moved to Real Madrid from Werder Bremen for a massive transfer fee estimated to be about €15 million. He debuted for Real Madrid against Hercules which his team won convincingly. Ozil played the debut La Liga match for Real Madrid against Mallorca which ended in a tie.
Ozil also played his first Champions League match for the illustrious Spanish club on 15 September 2010, in which he assisted Gonzalo Higuain in scoring a goal against Ajax. He ended the season on a high note with 25 assists to his credit, more than any other footballer participating in the main European club competitions for that season.
Mesut started taking the field by sporting jersey number 10 for Real Madrid for the entire 2011-12 season, clearly indicating club manager Jose Mourinho’s intentions to tap his playmaking skills. His debut goal in this season was scored against Barcelona in the 1st round of the two-legged 2011 Supercopa de Espana.
With a total of 17 assists, Ozil was yet again placed at the top of the assists chart of La Liga in the 2011-12 Season. The La Liga title was claimed by Real Madrid which was the club’s 32nd and Mesut had a significant role to play in it.
Ozil was shortlisted for the ‘FIFA Ballon d’Or Award’ as well as nominated for the ‘UEFA Best Player in Europe Award’ owing to his excellent performance as a playmaker both for Germany and Real Madrid.
For the 2012-13 Season Mesut yet again demonstrated his playmaking ability on several occasions, especially assisting his teammate Christian Ronaldo to score goals. However, Real Madrid could only win the Supercopa de Espana trophy in the ongoing season, Ozil’s 26 assists notwithstanding.
After an immensely successful 3-year stint with Real Madrid, Mesut was loaned out to Arsenal for a transfer fee of £42.5 million, which made him the most expensive German footballer of all time. He played as a center-forward for Arsenal and put on the number 11 jersey.
Ozil’s first match as an Arsenal player was against Sunderland where he assisted teammate Olivier Giroud score a goal, and the final score went in favor of Arsenal, 3-1. His first goal for ‘The Gunners’ came against the Italian club, Napoli, during the Champions League which the former won.
Mesut played a total of 40 matches in the first season for Arsenal scoring 7 goals and a total of 13 assists. Ozil once again emerged as a strong contender for FIFA Ballon d’Or Award and was also voted as one of the players for UEFA Team of the Year.
In the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Mesut Ozil played a pivotal role in Germany’s World Cup victory. He scored the decisive goal in the round of 16 victory over Algeria and provided an assist for Sami Khedira in Germany’s 7–1 semi-final win over Brazil.
In the 2014 FIFA World Cup final against Argentina, played 120 minutes before being replaced by Per Mertesacker. Germany eventually won the match 1-0. Ozil scored 5 goals and helped set up 7 goals in the 31 fixtures that he played for Arsenal during the 2014-15 Season. He put up a good show in the final of the 2015 FA Cup in which Arsenal handed a crushing defeat to Aston Villa.
Mesut scored his initial goal in the 2015-16 Season against Manchester United which Arsenal went on to win by 3-0. His 3rd season with Arsenal came to a close with 20 assists and 8 goals which earned him the award for being the ‘Arsenal Player of the Season’.
Awards and Achievements:
2009-2010 Bundesliga Top Assists
2010 FIFA World Cup Top Assists
2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015 German Player of the Year Award
2010 FIFA World Cup Man of the Match (vs Ghana)
2010-2011 UEFA Champions League Top Assists
2011-2012 La Liga Top Assists
2015-2016 Premier League Top Assists
2015-2016 Player of the Season by Arsenal
2012 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award (10th place)
A Muslim Extremist?
Mesut Ozil is a Muslim. Specifically, he is a devout Muslim, who recites Holy Qur’an before every single matches he has to play. Talking to the Berlin-based daily “Der Tagesspiegel”, Mesut said, “I always recite from Quran before I go out (on the pitch).
This really helps me to keep me focused. I pray and my team-mates know that they cannot talk to me during this brief period.” Moreover he recites verses from the quran during the German national anthem as well. We can even see him doing munajat (praying) on the pitch during the match.
Mesut and Girlfriends:
Though the list is high featuring Anna Maria , Aida Yespica . But he is back in relationship with his ex girlfriend singer Mandy Capristo.
A Compassionate Heart:
Mesut is also known to be a heavy donor to various charities. After the 2014 World Cup win, he donated around $500,000 (all his world cup winnings) for the surgical and medical treatment of around 23 Brazilian children, as a token of thanks to the warm hospitality of the Brazilian people. In May of 2016, Mesut also visited the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan and signed autographs for his fans in the 80,000 displaced Syrian refugees.
So this how a young German kid evolved and matured to be one of the biggest star of this era in the world of football. We may all use him a happy prosperous life ahead on his 29th Birthday !
Happy Birthday Mesut !